Canon has launched a new remote camera system that includes three new pan-tilt-zoom cameras (PTZ) – the CR-N500, CR-N300 and CR-X500 – and the RC-IP100 controller, working as efficient, smaller scale production options for broadcast and production teams looking for indoor and outdoor systems. As Canon's first 4K PTZ remote cameras, the CR-N500 and CR-N300 combine the company’s professional video production expertise with their experience in surveillance and network cameras.
The CR-N500, CR-N300 indoor PTZ cameras and the CR-X500 outdoor camera record 4K UHD footage and are compatible with IP workflows. The CR-N500 and CR-N300 use the new XC Protocol to support a remote production workflow that links compatible products over a network, controlling Canon's video production devices for varied applications. Along with the RC-IP100 hardware controller and Remote Camera Control Application, the new XC Protocol will enable other compatible Canon video products to work within the production system for further customisation.
Canon also plans to release new firmware that makes the Cinema EOS range cameras compatible with this new system, meeting the diverse video requirements of the remote production market.
The CR-N500 and CR-N300 enable IP streaming and operation for live productions. Both cameras support several protocols including RTMP/RTMPS, NDI|HX, RTP/RTSP and Canon’s new XC Protocol, streaming directly to CDNs. The CR-N500 also employs Canon Log 3 and Wide DR modes for live streamed and recorded content, ready for post-production. When shooting outdoors, the CR-X500’s robust body has an IP55 Water and Dust proof rating, remote control capability over serial communication and an in-built wiper for wet conditions.
Designed to fit into existing workflows, these PTZ cameras have various connectivity options. Both the CR-N500 and CR-N300 are built with Power over Ethernet (PoE+), HDMI and 3G-SDI connectivity, and the CR-N300 has an extra USB port. The CR-X500 uses a 12G-SDI connection to achieve 4K UHD up to 60P with a single cable.
Canon’s three new PTZ cameras incorporate Canon’s original imaging system and achieve image quality equivalent to Canon’s other professional cameras. The CR-N500 and CR-N300 are built with a DIGIC DV6 processor to achieve 4K UHD 30P at 4:2:2 10-bit, and the CR-X500 leverages Dual DIGIC DV6 processors to capture up to 4K UHD 60p at 4:2:2 10-bit.
The CR-N500 and CR-X500 have 1.0 Type CMOS Sensors for broadcast-quality video, and Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system applies accurate, quick focusing, which can be a challenge in 4K production. The CR-N300 has a 1/2.3 inch Type CMOS Sensor and the Hybrid Auto Focus system for sharp, quick focus onto objects in low-light, good for live-streaming in ambient conditions such as a lecture theatre.
Each of the new PTZ models retains a 4K optical resolution throughout the zoom, bringing viewers closer to subjects. The CR-N500 and CR-X500 employ a 15x optical zoom and CR-N300 a 20x optical zoom, and include image stabilisation to produce smooth imagery from wide angle to telephoto. The CR-X500 has an extra 30x zoom used when the camera is shooting full-HD for tight, close-up shots of an object in the distance.
The CR-N500 and CR-N300 are capable of high-precision control through the pan and tilt drive mechanism, moving at 0.1° /second increments and 0.2° /second increments respectively for smooth operation at variable speeds. These two cameras are compatible with the RC-IP100 controller and the Remote Camera Control Application via IP and selected third-party controllers, for integration with existing set-ups. The CR-X500 is also compatible with the RC-IP100 controller via Serial Connection.
Using the RC-IP100 hardware controller, the CR-X500 can control up to 100 PTZ cameras at once from a single operator via serial communication. With control over settings including focus, white balance and shutter speed, it also has a multi-function joystick and zoom rocker for incremental movement of the camera and smooth transition between wide and tele zoom. These multi-purpose controls make operation simpler.
The RC-IP100 and Canon’s pending free Remote Camera Control Application – both to be available later in 2021 – can control up to 100 pre-set positions, as well as the trace function setting. To set up this function, up to 10 camera movements are pre-determined in a rehearsal and the sequence initiated with the touch of a button.
The Remote Camera Control Application software will be compatible with Windows OS computers and tablet devices, so that users can operate multiple Canon PTZ cameras on the IP network from a computer. The software control allows the image settings of the camera such as iris, white balance and gain, to be fine-tuned from a laptop keyboard.
Canon’s PTZ range will be available locally and priced at dealer discretion. The CR-N500 and RC-IP100 are expected in May 2021, the CR-N300 in late June 2021 and the CR-X500 in August 2021. www.canon.com